So remember last season when I complained a lot about a certain lady providing vocals on the Bomb Girls soundtrack and maybe I also compared her to two non-human things? Well they went and gave her an ACTUAL PART on the show. Now that I have seen her face I will refrain from further unflattering comparisons, but not from saying that perhaps she could benefit from a cough drop.
Or eleven cough drops.
There to see her are Betty and Ivan who are speaking an untranslatable dialect of Canadian having something to do with hockey, I believe. The date is going swell, all sports talk and beer chugging, although Betty is in an awful hurry to get plastered. And I want to make clear that I feel no rancor whatsoever towards this Ivan chap, who obviously holds Betty in very high regard and would probably be cool with it if she told him the truth about her orientation.
Again Gladys tries to come to her rescue, but she responds “This is what girls do. They date boys and they don’t get arrested and they keep their jobs and they don’t have the whole world think they’re deviant freaks. So don’t tell me where my goddamn heart is.” Makes you wonder how many women in 1942 had to make that speech.
Meanwhile, Vera takes Lorna to the bad side of town, Chestnut Street, two blocks south of Drury Lane, to get a back alley abortion. The lady doling them out is wise and kind and delivers abortions in the form of herbal tea, because this is Canada, where every experience is just a little pleasanter. Vera, who has apparently visited ‘ol Chestnut street a time or two, does an admirable job of supporting Lorna through the whole experience.
Back at the boarding house, Betty sneaks Ivan to her room and decides she’s sufficiently sloshed to consummate her relationship with her beardless beard. Like everyone who saw this scene coming, I was dreading it in the way I always do when queer characters switch teams for whatever reason, but Bomb Girls just keeps on not letting me down. As always, my hat (which like Betty’s is a combination Sherlock/Robin Hood/Elphaba) is off to Ali Liebert, who mixes just the right amount of humor into Betty’s desperate attempt to prove her straightness. Ivan gently asks her if it’s her first time and her mouth says “yes” but the subtext says “ish.” Ivan decides that Betty has had a few dozen too many to go all the way, and says he’d like to save it for a time when it’s special to both of them. Please join me in prayer that that time never comes.
The next night Gladys throws a soiree to benefit the Red Cross, glad to enlist her money and everyone else’s in her cause du jour. The blue shift girls are in attendance but at a price: they have to be in uniform. Gladys has opted out of this last part, because someone has to look fabulous.
“Would you really have me deprive the world of my splendor?”
Betty is running late when she hears a familiar voice from a darkened street, Kate Andrews singing hymns. She walks up to her, dreamlike, but before she can rescue her or embrace or collapse with relief, Kate’s dastardly father shows up and does the whole “deviant freak” thing again. Betty is forced to retreat, but vows to return with an army. An army named Gladys Witham-Hastings.
When arrives at Witham Castle though, she finds Gladys has her hands full dealing with her parents, who are starting to fight off the Imperius curse and are threatening to undermine her fundraiser with their greed. She gets back at them by adding another zero to their Red Cross donation.
Meanwhile, Lorna takes her tea bag to Marco’s, to borrow some of his eyeliner and confirm that the baby is indeed is. As long as she’s there, she indulges in a little Italian love.
Well, you can’t get any pregnanter.
When Betty returns to the alley where it looks like Kate and her father are homeless together, he tries to scare her off again. Not this time though, pops. Standing out in the cold, spouting her father’s empty hatred, has done something to Kate. She’s toughened up and learned to speak louder than a whisper.
“I hope I DO go to hell! At least it would be warm!”
She’s finally ready to stand up for herself and…oops.
“This is why we don’t get in fights on balconies.”
Betty’s all for telling the cops about their little mishap, but Kate just covers her father’s body with a tarp and leaves, stopping just short of spitting on it and lighting it on fire. Girl, I think I’m gonna like you this season.
Back at the boarding house, Gladys shows up to make amends and finds Kate there, looking shaken and also real real pretty. The three of them lie on the bed together (I love this show), passing around something that’s got them awfully mellowed out if it’s just a cigarette. Kate and Betty share a look—is it just their shared secret? Or the promise of giving their romance a second start? I really can’t wait to find out.
See you next week.
Thanks to AE member Klytaemnestra for helping me figure out exactly what Betty’s hat looked like.